GRISSOM AIR RESERVE BASE, Ind. --
Many Americans remember where they were when the events of Sept. 11 transpired twenty years ago. They remember what they felt watching history unfold that day.
The Hoosier Wing held a 20th anniversary remembrance ceremony at the base flag pole.
The ceremony honored the 343 New York City firefighters and paramedics, 23 New York City police officers and 37 Port Authority officers and their families, as well as the rest of the 2,977 individuals who lost their lives that day.
During the ceremony, the American flag was raised and set at half-staff, ringing a bell signifying the call that trigger a firefighter’s response, a moment of silence, a prayer and the playing of taps.
Staff Sgt. Braden Hood, 434 Civil Engineering Squadron, fire crew chief, shares a story like many Americans in seeing how that day played out on television. He had previously organized last year’s ceremony. So he was very interested in creating this years.
“Last year was my first year doing it, said Hood. “I’ve been telling everybody I will do this as long as I can. Even if I am out of the military, I’ll still do it.”
When asked what Sept. 11th means to him Hood responded, “I don’t consider myself that old. I was twelve at the time. There’s not a whole lot of days when you’re twelve years old where could ask me, ‘Where were you, what were you doing,’ but I could tell you to the ‘T’ and even to the minute.”
Hood explained that he was had an extreme interest in baseball and wanted to become a professional baseball player.
“When those towers got hit and I knew there were firemen inside, everything changed,” Hood said. “It just completely changed my mentality and my calling. I was already thinking about the military in case baseball didn’t work out. I was just sitting with my mom; we were watching television when something came across me and I went outside, lowered the flag to half-staff and I was like ‘this is going to change my life forever.’”
The events that unfolded that tragic day are engrained in the memory of our service members who served and continue to serve around the world today.
The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. The Citizen Airmen from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.
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